https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2014/09/26/liam-maxwell-commits-to-cto-post-until-2018/

Liam Maxwell commits to CTO post until 2018

Liam Maxwell

You may have already seen the good news earlier today, but I wanted to mention it here too: Liam Maxwell has signed on the dotted line to stay with us as Chief Technology Officer for government until at least 2018.

That's good news for all sorts of reasons.

Liam is famous around government for waving his phone at people. Wrapped around that phone is a case emblazoned with the words "What is the user need?"  - a simple question that we’re encouraging government departments to ask more often, because knowing the answer helps them do the right thing.

Armed with that phone case, Liam and his team have started the process of redesigning technology governance in Government from top to bottom. Gone is the astonishing complexity that used to govern how we bought and procured IT in the past. (Look at the diagrams below - we have closed over 20 boards, and introduced governance by browser wherever possible.) Liam's made it simpler, which has made it better.

Technology governance - before
Technology governance - before...
Technology governance - after
...and after

Gradually, we’re saying goodbye to the days of government services run as huge monolithic silos. Now we want to implement government as a platform, government made from platforms: re-usable, interconnected, easily replaced components that can be used and shared by everyone.

Since he joined GDS, Liam has been an important force for change. His team has achieved a great deal in a short time (take a look at the team blog and you’ll see what I mean). Liam, supported now by Magnus Falk as deputy CTO, has attracted the type of talent we need in Government. Andy Beale and Tom Read are rolling out new common technology services, James Duncan is transforming the Public Services Network and Kevin Humphries is establishing a cross-government technical architecture function.

Outside of the central group, Liam is pivotal in recruiting experienced technology talent and the quality of the Technology Leaders group is evidence that we are at last bringing in top-tier technology skills.

We need to keep up that momentum, and we need more time to make bigger, more ambitious changes happen, then let them settle down and become the new normal. With Liam as CTO for at least the next three years, I’m confident that’s going to happen.

6 comments

  1. Anonymous

    Another empty suit gets promoted. Yawn

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  2. Taim

    Good news. Congratulations Liam Maxwell, we want to see you CTO.

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  3. Mark Neilson

    He's achieved so much in 4 years. Wow.

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  4. Paul

    Never heard of him. Has he taken an annual pay cut to 2018 too? Why not place him on a performance related 3 monthly temp contract If he's so sure of his capability? And good luck lasting to 2018, in the next election this lot will dissapear off the face of the earth and end up at consultancy firms. Less focus on irrelevant stories about phone covers and self glorifying fanfare please - it's certainly NOT what this user wants!

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  5. Chris Chant

  6. Mandy

    All tosh, bluster and politics ... what qualifications does he hold for this post? Oh yes he worked as Head of IT at Eaton college for a few years - makes you wonder how people like this get given these critical jobs doesn't it...

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